FAA Grant to Cover $6.8 Million of New Airport Fire Station Cost

The Virgin Islands Port Authority received a Federal Aviation Administration grant in the amount of $6,870,128 that will be put toward a new 12,000-square foot air rescue and fire station at the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix.

VIPA Executive Director Carlton Dowe said firefighters have had to endure deplorable conditions at the existing fire station for several years.

According to the authority’s director of engineering, Dale Gregory, who spoke at a VIPA Board meeting on Wednesday, “The new structure will be approximately twice as large as the current facility and will incorporate programmatic spaces deemed necessary for VIPA’s specific needs in accordance with the current FAA advisory circular for such facilities.”

The VIPA board approved a bid by St. Thomas-based AT Construction Solutions to construct the $7 million facility, of which VIPA will contribute $1.2 million out of its Aviation Operation budget, 17 percent of the total bid amount. (See related links below). The FAA grant funds will cover the remaining amount.

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Of the grant, $2,575,084 is discretionary funds, which is significant because this grant marks the third year in a row that Rohlsen Airport has received discretionary funding from the FAA, something Dowe called a remarkable accomplishment by the Port Authority’s employees and the V.I. Waste Management Authority.

Dowe thanked VIPA employees – in particular the engineering department – and the agency’s consultants that were instrumental in the authority receiving of the grant.

“The Rohlsen Airport will receive a significant improvement and the project will employ residents on St. Croix during the construction phase,” Dowe said.

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